Florence AlabamaFlorence, Alabama is located in “the Shoals” in the extreme northwestern corner of Alabama. It is the largest of the cities in this group that includes Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia and Sheffield, Alabama. With a population of just under 40,000 people, Florence still has lots to offer visitors. The town is located on two lakes, Wilson Lake and Pickwick Lake, created on the Tennessee River by the Wilson and Wheeler dams. Both offer great recreational opportunities; Wheeler Lake, for example, is the second largest lake in Alabama and Joe Wheeler State Park, just a few miles from Florence offers golf, tennis, camping, fishing and excellent waterfront cabins available to rent. Of course the main thing that “the Shoals” is known for is music. Muscle Shoals, Alabama is just across the river from Florence and is the home of the “Muscle Shoals Sound,” a music form that has been popular since the 1960’s and has heavily influenced popular music of all types. Florence is known as the “Birthplace of the Blues” since it is the birthplace of blues giant W.C. Handy. Each summer Florence holds the W.C. Handy Music Festival featuring a wide range of popular music that includes blues, jazz, gospel, R and B and even country. This festival is known for its fine roster of respected musicians who come there each year to perform. Each January the Sam Phillips Music Celebration is held in Florence. Sam Phillips, also a Florence native, is credited with helping the development of rock and roll. He is also credited with discovering singer Elvis Presley. This Celebration is a week-long event, also filled with music. There are several other festivals held in Florence including the George Lindsey and University of North Alabama Film Festival in April, and the Alabama Renaissance Faire in October.

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